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Full text of "Bennie and the tiger"

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BlhisiratA /adli'mg 9Gnnk0. 






11, Ludgate Hill. 






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A fair little English boy lay sleeping in 
the shady verandah of his Indian home. 
The servant who was left with him was 
unfaithful to her trust, and, while he slept, 
wandered away in search of pleasure. 
A treacherous tiger, prowling in search of 


a pig or a lamb for his supper, finding the 
village very quiet, ventured in among the 
dwellings. The English gentlemen were 
all absent, and most of the natives were 
at work in the rice swamp or the paddy 
field ; while the white ladies, exhausted 

with heat, were taking their rest, little 
dreaming how careless were their nurses. 
The treacherous tiger crept noiselessly 
past the deserted homes, until he espied 
the sweet little sleeper. Then, with one 
bound, he sprang upon him, grasped the 
flowing white robe in his teeth, and 
darted off to his native jungle. Having 
secured the prize, he laid him down ; 
and as a kitten plays with the captive 
mouse, began sporting with him. He 


walked round and round, layed first one 
paw and then the other on the little 
plump feet, and looked into his beautiful 
face as if his ferocious heart was almost 
melted by its sweetness. 

There wa3 a brave heart in little 
Bennie, for he seemed not at all alarmed 
by his strange companion. He was well 
used to Negro, the large black house 
dog ; the ponies were his chief favourites ; 
and he felt inclined to look on the tiger, 
perhaps, as an addition to his circle of 
dumb friends. Or, if the glance of these 
fiery eyeballs, and the display of these 
dreadful teeth, made his heart beat for a 
moment, he only returned the gaze, 
saying in baby language : " I'm not 
afraid of you, for I've got a father ! You 
can't touch Bennie — Bonnie's got a mam- 
ma !" Oh, how strong this trust in 
earthly love made that frail boy ! Why 
will not those who know that God is over 
all, confide in him in times of danger, and 
be at rest ! 

All this time the boy's mother slept, 
nor dreamed of danger to her darling. 


The truant nurse, missing her little charge, 
flew from house to house in search of him. 
But the Eye which never sleeps was on 

r %t. 

him. An aged native had heard the low 
growl of satisfaction, which to his prac- 
tised ear, told that a tiger had seized his 



prey, Taking his carbine, he followed on 
his trail, and secreted himself noiselessly 
behind the bushes. He watched his 
opportunity to fire, trembling less the 
charge meant for the tiger might kill the 
boy. He took his aim and fired. The 
tiger ran a few steps toward the jungle, 
then staggered and fell dead within a few 
yards of the little captive. Do you think 
that his mother could ever forget the kind 
old native ? Could she ever forget God, who 
saved her darling from so terrible a 
death ? 

There is an enemy more dangerous 
than any beast of the forest, who seeks to 
destroy both soul and body — Satan, whom 
the Scripture calls a " roaring lion." He 
has many servants, who watch like the 
tiger for their prey, ready to spring upon 
unguarded youth. God has warned us 
against these spiritual foes, and promised 
His protection to all that trust in Him. 

(a ! i !» 


I am all alone in my chamber now, 

And the midnight hour is near ; 
And the faggot's crack and the clock's dull 

Are the only sounds I hear. 
And o'er my soul, in its solitude, 
Sweet feelings of sadness glide, 
For my heart and my eyes are full when 
I think 
Of the little boy that died. 


I went one night to my father's house — 

Went home to the dear ones all — 
And softly 1 opened the garden gate, 

And softly the door of the hall. 
My mother came out to meet her son — 

She kissed me, and then she sighed, 
And her head fell on my neck, and she wept 

For the little boy that died. 

I shall miss him when the flowers come, 
In the garden where he played ; 

I shall miss him more by the fireside, 
When the flowers have all decayed. 

I shall see his toys and his empty chair, 
And the horse he used to ride ; 

And they will speak with a silent speech, 

Of the little boy that died. 


We shall go home to our Father's house — 

To our Father's house in the skies, 
Where the hopes of our souls shall have 
no blight, 

Or love no broken ties. 
We shall roam on the banks of the river 
of peace, 

And bathe in its blissful tide ; 
And one of our joys of heaven shall be 

The little boy that died.